Malaysia

East Malaysian DPM gratuitous, says Dr M

Dr Mahathir saw the proposal as a grab for a Cabinet spot. — File picDr Mahathir saw the proposal as a grab for a Cabinet spot. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today dismissed demands by East Malaysian lawmakers for a second deputy prime minister, saying it was more important to serve the people than to covet Cabinet posts.

“Why Sabah and Sarawak? What about other states? I think Kedah also wants a deputy prime minister,” the Kedah-born former prime minister joked.

“Everybody wants [a post]. There should be an MCA deputy, an MIC deputy, a Gerakan deputy. And if Pakatan wins, everybody will become prime minister.”

He urged Sabah and Sarawak legislators to focus on doing their job to help the people instead if they were sincere in discharging the duties of their public office.

“Whether you’re deputy (prime minister) or not, if you can serve the people, that’s fine. If you don’t serve the people, you’ll suffer the fate of Mr Gaddafi,” he said.

United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok mooted the idea of a second deputy prime minister’s post to be filled by an East Malaysian.

The suggestion was made at the Sabah-based Barisan Nasional (BN) component party’s triennial delegates conference in Kota Kinabalu last month.

The proposal was seconded by Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Datuk Seri Dr James Masing, who said it would enhance the importance of Sabah and Sarawak.

Sarawak PKR vice chairman See Chee How also lent his support to the idea, especially if it could benefit the people of East Malaysia.

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